MGM plans “uniquely Japanese” $5b Osaka resort

    MGM Resorts International plans to develop a “uniquely Japanese” casino resort in the city of Osaka and not one that mirrors its properties in Macau or Las Vegas should it be awarded a casino license.
     MGM Resorts President Bill Hornbuckle gave a presentation of the project at the Mizuho Convention Centre, which said the company would be prepared to invest $5 billion in the project, which is likely to create 10,000 permanent jobs.
    Unveiling some details of the planned resort, the company said it planned to team with a consortium of leading Japanese companies.
    It said the resort will be a multi-faceted entertainment centre, with gambling just one part of the occasion. The company took the opportunity to stress that in some of its other properties 70 percent of revenue comes from non-casino sources.
    MGM says the casino resorts have the ability to boost tourism arrivals by about 5 million more than the government’s stated 2025 target of 25 million and 10 million more than the government’s 30 million target in 2020.
    Japan’s parliament is scheduled to resume debate on a bill that will establish a broad legal framework for allowing casinos in the country for the first time. It will then need to establish a second bill setting out the details.
    However, the delays in passing the framework legislation has some analysts doubting that Japan will have enough time to open its first integrated resort by the time Tokyo hosts the Olympics in 2020.
    Allowing integrated resorts will generate significant tax revenue for the government and expand non-manufacturing areas of the economy, it said.
    Most of the world’s major casino operators have expressed interest in competing for a license in Japan, which is expected to have about $20 billion in annual gaming revenue initially. Some estimates say the potential is for as much as $40 billion once all resorts are up and running.